What are Prebiotics? Why do Prebiotics work? What are the best Prebiotic Supplements?
What are Prebiotics?
Scientists have defined Prebiotics as a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health. Prebiotics are non-digestible foods that make their way through our digestive system and help good bacteria grow and flourish. Prebiotics keep beneficial bacteria healthy. Prebiotics are not bacteria. They are specific nutrients, usually non-absorbable carbohydrates like fructo- and oligo-saccharides, which can be found naturally occurring in whole grains, fruits and legumes. Many prebiotics identified to date are members of the carbohydrate family.
Why do Prebiotics Work?
Prebiotics are the fertilizer for productive bacterial growth, feeding probiotic bacteria and assisting in its growth. According to OB/GYN Marcelle Pick, "fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, natural sugars found in bananas, chicory root, onions, leeks, fruit, soybeans, sweet potatoes, asparagus and some whole grains" assist in helping healthy probiotic bacteria through digestive acids, keeping them whole and able to reach their final destination. Additional sources of good Prebiotics include: Endive, Fresh Dandelion Greens, Radicchio and Garlic.
Benefits of Prebiotics
•Increase in levels of good bacteria
•Reduction in levels of bad bacteria
•Increase in mineral absorption (for example, calcium)
•Control or prevention of occasional diarrhea
•Relief from occasional constipation, particularly in the elderly
•Provision of up to 10% of daily energy requirements
•Increase in bioavailability of minerals (for example, calcium and magnesium).
Prebiotics and Probiotics. Do they work together?
Yes, both Probiotics and Prebiotics work together synergistically. While you can load up on probiotic supplements, it won’t do your body much good if you continue to eat a diet devoid of fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in inulin, fructans and oligosaccharides. Similarly, a diet rich in prebiotics will give your intestinal flora something to feed on, but it’s likely that your intestinal flora could use a boost if you’ve typically eaten a poor diet or been at antibiotics at some point like most folks.
What is the best Prebiotic supplement? Do any supplements contain both Prebiotics and Probiotics?
Dr. Ohhira Probiotics 12 PLUS is a high technology, 21st Century, synbiotic product containing 12 strains of friendly bacteria (probiotics), naturally occurring FOS (prebiotic nutrient important to intestinal well-being), 4 organic acids (helps establish the proper pH environment in the colon) and important micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals and amino acid, Dr. Ohhira Probiotics is hand-gathered from the mountains and carefully harvested from seas of Japan, various vegetables, fruits, seaweeds, roots, mushrooms, barks, leaves and herbs are blended using ancient Japanese traditions and are naturally fermented to produce an award-winning, totally vegetarian product. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® are fermented for three years using 12 strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) including the proprietary TH10 strain which reportedly is six times stronger than any other known LAB strain. The probiotic supplement is encapsulated along with its prebiotic culture medium of nutritious vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and seaweed and the naturally developed organic acids, which help alter the pH of the colon so the good bacteria can thrive. This provides nutrition and a level playing field for the good bacteria, further ensuring their success. The prebiotic nutrition also feeds the unique probiotic strains that were already present in your stomach. Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic blend includes nutrition that supports your own individual microecology!*
In addition to Prebiotics and organic acids, the culture medium provides nutritious vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Digestive support, bacteriocins, and hydrogen peroxide also help maintain the delicate micro flora garden living in your digestive tract. Being able to take one capsule that covers probiotics, prebiotics, and organic acids provides peace of mind that the supplement will successfully supply noticeable whole health support.*